Whoa, Tignanello!

Recently, I spent a week at my family’s farm at the base of the thumb in Michigan, hanging out with my 84 year-old dad while my mom was in California. While rummaging through the antique ice box-turned-liquor cabinet, I found a bottle of Antinori Tignanello. From 1988! Imagine, a twenty year-old Super Tuscan tucked away in the home of a Libfraumilch lover and a recovered alcoholic! This is a Sangiovese/Cabernet blend that sells for upwards of $75 USD for current releases, and online sellers are advertising this vintage at over $200 USD!

Here’s what Wine Spectator said about it back in 1993:
“The finest Tignanello available. A muscular, big wine, with beautiful aromas and flavors of fruit, berry and chestnut. Full-bodied, with solid tannins. It shows great structure and should improve into next century. Try after 1998.– JS.”

I called my mom and asked her how she managed to acquire such a rare, expensive bottle, and at first she was stumped. Then, she remembered the wake they held for my late 106 yr-old great Aunt Blanche. Blanche’s grandson, the doctor, had brought it along with another, open bottle. Mom remembered him trying to tell her about the Tignanello, but she didn’t pay attention and only poured the opened bottle.

So, for the past year and a half this prize sat in the dark of the old ice-box, ignored and unappreciated. It’s a good thing my sister hadn’t been to visit as she would have finished it and thought, hmmmm, good wine, never knowing its true worth. Now, it’s mine, mine, all mine. Nya-ah-ah!

My quandary is this: to drink, hold or sell. What should I do?
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While I was thinking about the lofty Tignanello, I tried a couple things closer to earth:

Jim Jim 2005 Shiraz
Hugh Hamilton Wines
McLaren Vale, Australia
$22-ish at Kits Wine

Deep purple with long skinny legs, this puppy has earthy black fruit and spicy red licorice on the nose. Jammy plum and blackberries dominate the palate, with hints of sweet toasty oak and root beer. It has a rich, thick body and a nice, soft mouthfeel and finishes with black raspberry and tree bark. Perfect with lamb souvlaki.

Kenwood 2005 Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley, California
Bought in California, but available at the LCB for $25 Canadian bucks.

Brick red color of medium opacity, it has a nose of smoked cherries in a sandelwood bowl. In the mouth, it’s a cherry/strawberry pie sprinkled with spices, blessed with lively acidity, and has a fresh-from-the-oven warm fruit feel. The finish is long and earthy and it lives up to its 14.5% alcohol level. Tasted great with the soy sauce marinated steelhead fillet

Mari Kane

Mari is a writer, blogger and WordPress consultant, living in Vancouver, BC, the most wine-soaked town north of the 49th Parallel. She also blogs about WordPress web design at Blogsite Studio.com. Follow her on Twitter or Google Plus.